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Meet Aline Boulgourjian of Style to Function

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aline Boulgourjian.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Aline. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My story starts with an education in Business Marketing from USC, then working in advertising and marketing for many years. However, my biggest interest was interior design. I spent hours exploring different elements of interior styling. One day, my brother having just remodeled an investment property asked me if I would be interested in staging it to list for sale. I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to purchase all new furniture and keep it for my house once the property sold! What I didn’t know at that time was how much I would enjoy the challenge of elevating a space to attract the best buyers. As I spend more time solving space problems and staging vignettes in the rooms, I realized that my marketing background coupled with my love of design presented me with a unique combination of skills. I was lucky to be able to bring together my education and my passion in a way that brings value to the home seller. My first staged property fetched multiple offers in the first week, sold above asking, and generated interest from many local realtors for my staging work. Just as we removed the furniture, I was approached by an agent to stage another property. So, quite by accident a business was born.

Has it been a smooth road?
As with any small business, the struggles are many and always changing. For me, the bumps in the road have always been about logistics. My business first started in our two car garage. A few months in, I rented a storage space, then another… after getting four storage units in the first year, we finally moved to a leased warehouse space.
Storage space is the bear of our line of work.

Staging is like design on steroids: Balancing multiple projects with short lead time, always taking inventory of available furniture and keeping available team members is a juggling act. At the same time, as an entrepreneur, the challenge is to balance all aspects of my life so that my business thrives. The focus has to be on everything as a whole, including a healthy lifestyle, rewarding relationships, a happy home, and financial and spiritual health. It’s all intermingled and a deficiency in one affects the others.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Style to Function story. Tell us more about the business.
Style to Function is a real property staging business. We furnish listings, rentals and vacation homes. Through this business, we have also attracted clientele who use our home styling services to update and refresh their homes.

For most people, their homes are their biggest assets. It only makes sense to position their home in the best possible light to fetch top dollar and do so quickly. With AirBNB and VRBO markets emerging, beautiful photos of properties are key for making a big impact online. We are the experts who make that happen.

As marketers, we have studied the psychological connections that people make to a space and know how to position the property to connect with the buyer or renter.

What sets us apart is our addition of detail and storytelling in our stagings. It’s lovely to have a chair by a window, but when you have a tea cup and a book by the chair then you’re telling a story. That story must be tailored to your demographic. For example, in a community where buyers are retired couples, you might want to place some wine glasses by the chairs. But if your buyers are growing families then a teddy bear and a storybook should be your props. The unique perspective we bring to our stagings is the ability to pinpoint the most likely demographic and create a vignette to that particular lifestyle- We attract that buyer with images of an upgraded lifestyle.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
This industry is definitely growing. With the growth of social media and home-improvement based entertainment on channels such as YouTube and HGTV, people have higher expectations when it comes to viewing a property. If the house is vacant or has mismatched, over-sized furniture, it won’t attract the best buyers. Due to the popularity of real estate websites, 95% of the buyers are looking at photos of multiple houses online before they decide to come to the property. These trends make it essential to put your best foot forward.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Portrait photo credit: Raquel Albelda, Real Estate photo credit: Pierre Galant Photography

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